Testing update notification for mobile Browsers: Stock Android Browser
September 4th, 2016
For a long time we have ignored mobile Browsers here at browser-update.org on purpose.
They are in particular complicated to detect and on many platforms there is no way to
update the browser without updating the system or even an operating system update is not possible at all.
Now we started to notify users that are using the outdated stock Android browser if they have an upgrade path to another newer browser on their system.
We offer a selection of up-to-date browsers for Android to them, currently consisting of Chrome, Firefox and Opera.
We investigate including more browsers as choices to update and to notify other mobile platforms like Windows Phone and maybe iOS in the future.
As of today we convinced a total of 10 million people to update their browser.
With this we may have protected tens of thousands of people from attacks through security holes in their old outdated browser.
And we have improved the browsing experience of all of them with a new, speedy, more functional browser.
We improved the procedure when to show the notification to be even more user-friendly:
When the user closes or clicks the notification bar, we know that they noticed the notification.
After this we do not show it again for a week, because this means the user has seen the bar
but has some reason not to update their browser right now.
Knowing this, we do not want to bother the users, but only remind them some longer time later.
The time interval to the next notification can be changed using the reminderClosedoption.
It defaults to about a week.
Internet Explorer 9 was released in March 2011, almost four ago. We will now start
to notify users of this browser (in the default configuration).
We changed the code you have to include in your site. It is a little bit smaller and faster.
In our continouing quest to inform the majority of relevant browser and not to erroneously bother users of small
browsers we whitelisted a few small browsers (CoolNovo,Blackberry 10,PaleMoon, QupZilla), which will not get the notification.
Several improvements were made to the browser detection code:
We improved the detection of Firefox ESR releases (which are supported by Mozilla for one year) and do not ask them to update.
Although almost all the chrome users use the latest version of chrome because of the built-in auto-update mechanism, it may not work on some of the users.
To keep these users up to date (and safe) we now also notify users that use out of date versions of chrome.
Furthermore we improved the detection of other browsers we do not want to notify erroneously (e.g. Maxthon and Dolphin).
Internet Explorer 8 was released almost five years ago in March 2009. We start now notifying users of this browser.
Furthermore we notify users of these outdated browsers, which are not supported with security updates anymore:
Firefox 10 or older (released Jan 2012, ≈< 0.5%), Opera 12 or older (released Jun 2012, ≈< 0.1%), Safari 5.0 or older (released Jun 2010, ≈<1%), Chrome 10 or older.
We simplified the update page a lot. The goal was to focus more on the next step the user has to take to choose
an up-to-date browser.
This is why the browsers to choose are now on top. With a simple, short message telling the user what to do.
Furthermore, we removed as many distractions as possible (removed the logo, we simplified the header, smaller menu, less text).
The details why to update can still be found, but are a but further down the page.
Many webdesigners using browser-update.org have told us that we should move Internet
Explorer 7 to the outdated Browsers since the release of IE9 last year.
Users now get warnings when they still use Internet Explorer 7 which was released
more than 5 years ago in October 2006.
IE 7 currently approximately holds a global market share of less than 3%.
The default outdated browser list is now:
Internet Explorer 7 or older (released Oct 2006, market share ≈< 3%)
Firefox 3.6 or older (released Jul 2010, not supported with security updates anymore, ≈< 3%)
Opera 10.6 or older (released Jan 2010, not supported with security updates anymore, ≈< 0.1%)
Safari 4.0 or older (released Feb 2009, not supported with security updates anymore, ≈<0.2%)
IE7 is after IE6 the browser webdesigners are struggling the most with when creating their
sites. It supports almost none of the HTML5/CSS3 features and speed improvements of current browsers.
An interesting approach to get users to update their browser was chosen by an Australian online shop:
They added an additional tax for users of IE7
to pay their webdevelopers for optimizing the site for this ancient browser.
Additional information on when we moved browsers to the outdated list and discussion
about it can be found on the wiki page
Microsoft: "Moving the world off Internet Explorer 6"
April 19th, 2011
Microsoft has also realized the problem about outdated browsers - at least regarding their fossil, Internet Explorer 6.
They created the site "The Internet Explorer 6 Countdown" with the subtitle
"Moving the world off Internet Explorer 6".
Nice to see them join us in the fight.
We, browser-update.org, already have convinced
about 300 000 users to move off Internet Explorer 6!
Internet Explorer 9 has been released today. But it is not available for Windows XP, which has still a significant market share.
Since IE9 is only available for Windows Vista and Windows 7, we have introduced
a message for people using other Systems that they need to choose another browser.
"Internet Explorer 9 -
Not available for your System. Only for Windows Vista or 7. Please choose another browser."
Its been a long time since the last update here and it may seem like this project is not improving. But we have plenty of updates, changes and achievements to talk about.
First of all we have over 6000 Websites using the browser-update.org script now. This is a impressive number but we need to reach more webmasters! So spread the word about this campaign. The Google-Hack showed that a secure and up-to-date browser is very important, with even Microsoft now advising to abandon IE 6.
We moved to a new (and hopefully easier) translation system using gettext. You can find more information on our
We were moving to a faster server in November, because our old server could not handle the load anymore.
This year we need to decide if we should move Internet Explorer 7 to the default-list of outdated browsers.